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September 22, 2009

"Plax prison touchdown"

The title of this post is the headline of this little article in today's New York Post.  Here are the basics:

Plaxico Burress is due to turn himself in at 9:30 a.m. today to begin a two-year prison term. The ex-Giant -- who shot himself in the thigh in a Midtown club last November -- pleaded guilty last month to attempted gun possession to avoid serving a mandatory three years if found guilty of possession.  He bought his gun legally in Florida but lacked a New York license.

His time behind bars could drop to 20 months with good behavior. But the self-inflicted wound cost him the $27 million left on his Giant contract.  And under NFL rules, he can't sign with any team until he's completed his term.

As regular readers know, I think the fact that Plax is willingly serving two years in prison for gun possession without even raising a Second Amendment claim is strong evidence that Heller is unlikely to mean much for most law enforcement purposes for quite some time.  Then again, maybe Delonte West is now poised to be a celebrity spokesperson for the Second Amendment.

Some related posts on the Burress cases:

UPDATE:  This New York Times article discusses today's events in state court in which Plaxico official received his two-year prison sentence

September 22, 2009 at 09:03 AM | Permalink


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He likely would have been an excellent plaintiff if he had chosen to challenge the law before violating it. However I don't expect anything to happen to concealed carry prohibitions so long as the criteria aren't arbitrary. Such restrictions go back at least to the 1800s and I don't see anything that would keep them from being good law today.
NYC has problems in that their regime is entirely arbitrary, but without incorporation even that won't matter. Just because I /prefer/ Alaska's lack of licensing for concealed carry doesn't mean I think such is constitutionally mandated. I believe there is a much greater chance that the open carry cases will be declared to still be good law than conceal carry restrictions to be overturned.

When you pile stupid behavior on top of a likely loser of a legal position his guilty plea strikes me as the best choice in a bad situation. Your continued harping on bad cases actually makes me wonder if this is an issue you actually care about.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Sep 22, 2009 11:39:29 AM

The 2nd Amendment is a sideshow in this story, the real star of the show is the continued primacy of mandatory minimums in sentencing policy. Other urban centers are taking note of NY state's stiff mandatory minimum gun laws, and NYC's still plummeting crime rate, and there are bills pending in places like D.C. that would never have been contemplated before.

Posted by: Ferris Bueller | Sep 23, 2009 8:41:27 AM

The price of making a mistake in America has become oppressively high.

Here's hoping Bloomberg manages to get elected to something bigger. It would be a shame to go to all that effort to squash Burress and not cash in on it somehow.

Bueller's right. Mandatory minimums (prosecutors' best friends) are the story here.

Posted by: John K | Sep 23, 2009 11:58:33 AM

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